That travel writer would be me, by the way. In my house, where 1/3 of the occupants are a cat and the other 2/3 don’t get out much, one person doing something equals a trend. So, 2010, what’s up! Let’s see what I’m doing to keep connected to the world in the Information Age.
Make sure you take a moment to tell me what your favorite techie tools are in the comments!
My father gave this to me when I was home last year, and it was like getting a pony that turned out to be a unicorn that farted rainbows and sang my favorite song, on key. It is the coolest thing ever invented, including fire and the Internet. As long as I have an Internet connection, I am unstoppable on this thing. I’m going to do another effusive post about my favorite apps, but for now suffice it to say that it could not be more perfect for me and who cares about the iPhone.
If there were a fire in my house (godforbidtouchwood), and because I’m fairly certain Cal would grab the cat, I feel free to state unequivocally that my MacBook would the the thing I would save on my way out the door to safety. I’m still on the Tiger operating system, and I just upgraded to 2 gigs of RAM from 512 MB (!!). The Internet blinks on and off like Christmas lights, several times a day. The plug is also getting wonky. But this thing is a workhorse, and I love it more than words can say.
Digital SLR cameras are the standard these days, and you can’t go anywhere without seeing even the most amateur photographers laden with a bag of lenses and squinting through the viewfinder. And, if someone were to give me an SLR camera, I wouldn’t hesitate to accept it gratefully. But, my old, miniscule Sony CyberShot has been my faithful companion for several years now, and has rewarded me with the most astounding record of my travels. I am a big, big fan of pocket cameras. And it’s never let me down.
That said, nighttime shots – my new obsession – are not the best with this camera. There are some other things it doesn’t do that I wish it did. So, I’m keeping my eye on how much the already well-priced Fujifilm Finepix J32 will cost during the January sales here in town. It’s really time I upgraded to more than 400 ISO. Ha!
Given to me by Mr. Mack this past summer with the caveat that I would take videos of my travels, the Flip is quite possibly the best-designed electronic device I’ve ever owned. It’s simple to use, upload, edit and post clear, crisp videos. So, why haven’t you seen any of them? Because I can’t keep the damn thing still enough to avoid nausea upon viewing. But I’m working on it, and you’re sure to see footage throughout the course of this year. Stay tuned.
It’s a cheap piece of pay-as-you-go crap, but it works with both French and Italian SIM cards and I can check emails in a pinch, so it’s fine. I’m not a phone person.
When I set out to start a blog, I created accounts at all the top/best/popular blogs, and WordPress was by far the best. I know I should transfer it over to my domain name, but I don’t want to lose my stats and frankly, I’m afraid. I like this just fine, thanks.
The best features are the stats and the ridiculously easy to use interface. I’ve made WordPress blogs for other clients and they’ve all been thrilled with the results. I do wish I could put my Amazon affiliate links up on here and I would like my sidebar menu to show up on single-post views (I just changed the template and BOOM there it is), but oh well. I can live with it because I adore everything else.
Oh, Twitter. I love you so much, even though you’re misunderstood by the masses. Seriously, I cannot imagine “regular” people finding Twitter the least bit useful. But for the world of travel, as I am sure it is for other relatively specific industries, it is indispensable. And now with their lists feature, I’m able to follow many more people by including them in categorized lists while at the same time unfollowing them on my main Twitter feed. It’s cost me some followers despite my explaining this repeatedly, sadly, but my Twitter time is now much more efficient thanks to my list-keeping.
All the cool kids are into Tumblr. And by cool kids, I mean literal kids – I’m fairly certain I’m a good 15-20 years older than the average Tumblr user. I use mine as a kind of online file cabinet – the “Share on Tumbr” button in my Firefox toolbar allows me to post pictures, articles and videos directly onto my Tumblr with one click, and there is a search function on my Tumblr I can use to find stuff I’ve posted. I’m also following about 70 users, and using the dashboard feature I can browse through their posts, which seem to be made up entirely of pictures of words, video stills with subtitles, or winsome, emaciated hipsters holding cameras in front of their faces. I find it endlessly fascinating.
This is what you keep wishing Alltop would be, and it has a great interface for my iPod Touch. Oh, and it has a browser toolbar button, too, and can recognize the feed only from the URL. One of my goals in 2010 is to get all the blogs I want to follow onto my Individurls page, and scan them every day. Because I absolutely suck at following other people’s blogs.
For $25 a year, it stores all of my photos for me. Boom. Batch uploading, batch organizing, clean interface. I could not live without it.
Non-Fun But Vitally Important To My Well-Being:
This is how I get all of my non-travel writing gigs, how Cal gets 99% of his clients, and I’ve done some travel writing through it as well. Yay, Elance! Thank you for helping us to pay our rent!
Yay, Paypal! Thank you for helping us to pay our rent!
Stuff I Feel Like I Should Like But Really Don’t Care About:
I use Facebook to keep up with friends and family, and I hide all but the ones I really want to know about. Rarely do I post Miss Expatria stuff on there, and I don’t have a “page” for it or a “fan page” or a “group page” or whatever the hell everyone seems to be doing for their blogs and/or businesses. Honestly, I can’t be bothered updating something like that.
I’ll add anybody who’s not robot spam. I haven’t tapped into the supposed power of LinkedIn, except to see if anyone I know could hook me up with someone at Oyster Hotel Reviews. Maybe if I get some time I’ll figure out what I should be doing over there.
I’m on it, but I don’t get it. Yawn.